The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

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Professors Ricardo Scofidio (Fall Semester), Guido Zuliani (Spring Semester), Jennifer Lee, Pablo Lorenzo–Eiroa, and Caroline O'Donnell

Fall Semester
Three short design projects, each with a different site and program, develop an understanding of the architectural idea or parti, and the articulation of the idea from the diagram to the architectural drawing. Design II students are asked to propose three original projects that critically challenge the boundaries and relationships between academic work and the conditions of everyday urban public life in architectural terms.

1. A weekend retreat for a couple, located on a grassy, rural plot with extreme weather conditions. Gender, vocation, and avocation are unknown. Each individual is fiercely independent, and each requires an area that is territorially their own. They do, however, share a suitcase…

2. A “smart station,” used for the display and sale of the 2.5 m (98.4 in) long “fortwo smart car,” located on an urban site at Houston and Lafayette in Manhattan. Two cars are located here, one outside for display, one inside for test-driving. The SmartStation has one employee, exhibition space, and service space. This project brings the ideas of shelter, site, technology, and weather developed in Project 1 into an urban context.

3. An exhibition space for the community of Cooper Union, in which the Architecture, Art, and Engineering schools each have a space, located on the corner of The Cooper Union Engineering Building site. The issue of the exhibition of the work produced at Cooper Union and its relationship to the city are considered as integral to the architectural problem, enabling a permeability to the city while presenting the institution through the students’ work.


Spring Semester
The work of the design studio is based on the assumption that design is a cognitive process, a continuous dialogue between intuition and reasoning rather than the application of a prescriptive method.

Invited to select a site of their own choice within the island of Manhattan, the students are provoked into a conscious encounter with the physical nature of the architecture of the city. The choice of the site is informed by the program: the architectural invention of a place for a transient as defined by the characteristic metropolitan dweller. The architecture and its programmatic specificity thus emerge from the student’s reflection on the encounter of the metropolitan transient with the space of the city.